5 Creative New Year’s Resolution Ideas

It’s that time of year, when we start thinking about New Year’s resolution ideas! Here, I talk about learning from the mistakes of 2019, and five creative ways to set good intentions for 2020.

New Years resolution ideas

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Yes, I know it’s the middle of the holidays, and you probably haven’t thought much (if any) about what goals or resolutions you might set for the new year. That’s okay, I haven’t either.

Which is why I’m writing this! Christmas is right around the corner, and once December 25th has past, the New Year will be mere days away. I don’t want you to get to New Year’s Eve, and realize you haven’t given a lick of thought to what kind of goals you want to set for 2020.

I’m not saying we should sit down and spend a bunch of time planning, but just that it’s a good idea for us to start pondering NOW, so when it does get to December 31st, we’ll have at least a general idea of what our hopes are for the new year.

Learning from Years Past

But before we can set our sights on 2020, it’s essential to look back on 2019. Did you reach your goals? What areas did you fall short in, and which areas did you succeed at? What ways did God grow you? I bet you’ll find that, even if you failed miserably at some things, there were still many ways that God worked in your life in 2019.

For the past few years, I’ve chosen a ‘word of the year’ that I wanted to live by, and I even turned that word into an acronym, with a goal for each letter. I really like that system, because it still gives me a word to latch onto, but it also fleshes out my intentions in more detail.

But don’t be thinking that just because I got all fancy with the acronym, that I nailed every point. Not even close! My word for 2019, CHERISH, was full of great intention.

cherish love

I think I did make progress in cherishing my relationship with Christ, and I definitely am doing better at regarding others more highly than myself. I even improved in my motivation and self-discipline!

(I’m feeling pretty good right now, about finally losing the 20 extra pounds I’ve been carrying around for years, even during the temptation of the holidays! I’ve lost eight so far, only 12 more to go. So proud of myself for choosing to make low-carb cupcakes on my birthday last month, and I’m going to attempt a low-carb faux cornbread stuffing for Christmas dinner. I did allow myself to indulge on Thanksgiving though!).

But as for my other goals, well, I’m not always joyful, don’t smile any more than I did this time last year, and am not nearly as helpful as I could be. Lots of room for improvement!

That’s the key though: To have a goal to aim for, and whether or not you reach it, you’ll still be growing and learning along the way.

5 New Year’s Resolution Ideas

After you’ve reflected on what went well (or didn’t) in 2019, the question is, what kind of goal(s) to you want to set for 2020? Don’t be afraid to try something different this time around!

1) Pick a word or phrase to live by. I like this option so much better than traditional “resolutions”, because it provides you with a general guideline, but it’s not so specific that you would be disappointed if you don’t nail it perfectly. It’s like choosing “health” or “give my body good nourishment”, rather than saying “I want to lose this many pounds by July”.

2) Choose a Bible verse to frame your year. Similar to the word-of-the-year option, this gives you an opportunity to set the stage for how you’d like to grow in 2020. Some fantastic verses to choose: 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (joy and gratitude), Matthew 6:19-21 (store up treasures in heaven), Phillippians 4:6-8 (pray), Colossians 3:23 (work as for the Lord), or Ephesians 4:2 (be humble and patient).

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Rejoice always

3) Set a big goal, then break it down into smaller chunks, with a specific timeline to achieve each part of the goal. This is a good way to go if you have one major thing you want to achieve (like earn a certification for your career, run your first marathon, go on a mission trip, etc.). Create a plan, and then throw all your focus on that one thing.

4) Decide on a specific trait, habit, or area of your life that you’d really like to change, and then make a list of things you can do (specific action items) that will help you change it. For example, if you have a habit of speaking unkind words (like cursing, gossiping, or putting others down), make a list of ways you can begin speaking more positively. Such as: pray before you speak, choose a positive word to replace the bad ones you usually speak, and ask God to change your heart and thus what comes out of it.

5) Pick a theme for the year, and a sub-theme for each quarter. One of the things I’m going to do differently in 2020, is to divide the year into quarters. I sheepishly admit that after the first few months of 2019, I rarely thought about my word of the year. I never did anything to refocus my mindset. So, my plan for 2020 is to still have one word for the whole year, but to have a specific item relating to that word, to focus on during each quarter. So, if my goal is to “be healthy”, I might focus on “nutrition” from January to March. Then from April to June, I might focus on “portion control”. You could even do a different word or topic for each month if you wanted to!

I don’t quite have my word for 2020 set in stone yet, but when I do, I’ll share it with you! Probably the week after Christmas/before the New Year.

What are you hoping to do or accomplish in 2020? Above all else, I pray that you’ll grow in the grace and knowledge of your Lord and Savior (2 Peter 3:18), and that you see and appreciate all that God is doing in your life. ❤️

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